Tennis coach Borg goes to extremes to help out

When Hal Borg stepped down last spring as the North Medford boys tennis coach, he meant it.

His son Tanner was in the final months before graduating from the high school as a three-time doubles state champion, and the time just seemed right to step away.

Then the phone rang.

On the other end was South Medford Athletics Director Dennis Murphy with an offer Borg simply couldn't refuse. With Panthers girls tennis coach Dana Smith pregnant and expected to need help in the spring, Murphy says the situation would be ideal for someone with Borg's experience.

"I didn't have to think about it too long," says Borg. "I thought (the job) was going to be as a little help, but it turns out it was to be head coach."

Whatever the circumstance, South Medford had an ace in the hole in bringing Borg back to a sport in which he'd led North Medford's boys to a pair of runner-up showings and a third-place finish in the Class 6A state championships.

"My daughter (Hannah) is a freshman over there and is kind of new to the game and that's why I'm excited about this opportunity," says Borg. "I was kind of looking forward to the break but I'm having a lot of fun over at South. They've been great to me so far."

The Panther girls opened the season with a nonconference win over North Medford, then followed that up with a triumph over Ashland. Borg says the season opener against the Black Tornado was a little surreal.

"It was a little odd standing out on the North courts and saying, 'Go South,' but it was all right," he says. "I'm very, very privileged to get the opportunity to hang out with these kids."

Borg says another key to the move, beyond spending more time with his daughter, was that the position was for girls tennis and not boys tennis.

"That does make it easier," he says. "I would not have accepted a boys position to coach against my old team, that's just something I wouldn't have thought of doing. But because it is the girls, it just feels right."

Jeremy Leever, a 2001 graduate of North Medford High, has replaced Borg as the North Medford boys tennis coach this spring. Borg says Smith delivered her baby two weeks ago.


ACCESS TO NORTH MEDFORD'S baseball games this season will be a little easier for those unable to make it out to the ballpark, either when the Black Tornado is in town or on the road.

Michael Campbell, a junior communications major at Southern Oregon University, has created a Web site ( and will be providing webcasts of all but a couple North Medford varsity baseball games this spring.

"They have a great team and nobody has a way to follow them, especially when they go on the road," says Campbell, who is a 2005 North Valley High graduate.

Campbell approached North Medford Athletics Director Tim Sam with his idea to do online broadcasts of the games during the Christmas break, then was granted approval by Medford Superintendent Phil Long after submitting a written proposal to the school district.

Campbell, 23, says he's definitely a fan of baseball, and North Medford seemed an appropriate fit since his mother, Kim, is an English teacher at the high school.

"I wish I could do all the schools," he says, "but I'm still in the early stages of figuring the best way to do this."

While it's Campbell's hope that this project helps spur along his future in broadcasting, he also says he hopes his example sparks interest from others to step up and take on such a task.

"There could be more of this going on," he says. "It's definitely something that can be done at other schools to get them more exposure this way. It's great for families of players who are transplanted from somewhere else or just can't get to the games."

Campbell says he's been a public address announcer at North Valley as a volunteer during the football season for the past "seven or eight" years. This past fall he provided webcasts of North Valley's road football games, and the response from that helped give him the idea to expand into baseball this spring. That experience also helped him work out the bugs in the system, and thus far things have gone pretty seamless in his North Medford webcasts.

Campbell is still looking for sponsorships to help defer the traveling and equipment costs. Those interested can contact him through his Web site, or by e-mail at

The next game will be at 1 p.m. today when the Black Tornado takes on Westview. All prior games, however, are archived on the Web site and can be listened to at any time. Simply clicking on the baseball icon for that day's game will bring up Windows media player, or Quicktime for Apple users, to access the webcast.

Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, or e-mail

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